Bell Tower, photo by Carl ThorWelcome!

Welcome to the Talisman Music website! Talisman Music features the Celtic group Talisman, musician and teacher Carl Thor, contra dance bands Hands4 and Cascade Crossing, and the Celtinalia duo. In addition, you will find a variety of products in our web store, and information about our teaching, sound engineering and composition services, as well as events we are promoting. We also host the web site for Vancouver's monthly 2nd Friday contra dance, Contra in the Couve!

Featured events

See our Calendar for more of our events.


New Wild Geese and the Full Moon, a piano piece composed and performed by Carl Thor, is now available for download at CDBaby

See video of Carl Thor and Carolyn Cruso at a house concert in Olympia, Nov. 9, 12014.

Manzanita Morning, composed and performed by Carl Thor, is now available for download at CDBaby

See video of Carl Thor in a house concert at Lake Oswego, OR, Apr. 10, 2014.

See video of Carl Thor and Carolyn Cruso in a house concert at Oysterville, WA, Oct. 20, 2013.

See video of Talisman playing for flash mob contra dance in Vancouver, WA, Sep. 7, 2013.

See video of Cascade Crossing at the Northwest Folklife Festival, May 25, 2013.

No Caravan of Despair, music by Carl Thor and the Talisman Digital Symphony Orchestra, is now available for download. Lush and exotic, this four part suite evokes images of desert caravans and celebrations under the starlit sky. Find it at CDBaby or the iTunes Store.

You can stream more of our music projects on our SoundCloud page. Check it out!


We are again offering hammered dulcimer workshops occasionally in Olympia. Private lessons always available in Portland/Vancouver for hammered dulcimer or piano. Contact us for more info.

Group Piano

Register now for Piano & Keyboard 2, taught by Carl Thor at Portland Community College, Cascade campus. This non-credit Community Ed class meets Wednesdays from 6-8pm, starting Mar. 30, 2015. Go here for details.


Contra dance in Vancouver, WA, at Contra in the Couve!, held on the second Friday of every month at the Hazel Dell Grange, 7509 NE Hazel Dell Ave. This fine, roomy dance hall has a great wood dance floor and an easy-to-access location just a few blocks from I-5.
Come dance with us in Vancouver! Lesson at 7:30pm, dance at 8:00pm. More info here.

Special note for Portland contra dancers: Contra in the Couve is just 4 freeway miles from the Interstate Bridge, and no passport or security check is required for entry into Washington state!

Featured Products in our Web Store

Deep Peace

Dulcimer News

Spring Fling Rendezvous

Registration is open - and filling up fast - for this year's Dulcimer Rendezvous. Featured instructors are Marina Albero, Sam & Joe Herrmann, and Ruth Smith, along with the usual staff of Northwest talents, Carolyn Cruso, Rick Fogel, Carl Thor, and Mick Doherty.
Thursday April 21 - Sunday April 24, 2016.
Register now! Visit for more information.

Portland Dulcimer Jam

The Portland Dulcimer Jam has gone on hiatus. What is really needed is one or more lead players, especially a bass, guitar, or keyboard, to lead the jam and provide steady rhythm for the group, and a central location that is comfortable, welcoming, and free.

Services offered by Talisman Music

Live Music

Recordings, Published Music and Other Products,
available through our Web Store

Composition and Arranging

Sound Engineering